Neys Provincial Park, Part 1: Dune Trail, a Beach Exploration, and More
We stayed at Neys Provincial Park after we left Pukaskwa National Park waiting for visibility to improve before continuing to our next planned hike. We had quickly figured out traveling around the Lake Superior coast that if the weather was foggy or rainy – which was frequent in late spring – we wouldn’t be able to see anything, so we began waiting out the weather rather than potentially missing good views. Luckily Neys provided a perfect spot to hole up in the fog, and so what would have been a potentially half day stop at the small park turned into a relaxing two day stay.
It was raining or drizzling fairly constantly during the daylight hours, but Abby and I ventured out both days to explore the park. Cocooned by fog and without anyone else on the trails, hiking here was characterized by quiet and a rejuvenating stillness. On the first day we began on the Dune Trail which hosts subarctic plants and a particular type of dune micro climate that shelters a resident woodand caribou population (unfortunately not seen). The 2.5km trail was hushed by moss and moisture, the ground carpeted with dew and air thick with hanging vapor. The sounds of my steps were absorbed by the wet layers of duff as I walked, drawing my attention on the vegetation around me: I started taking photos of the water droplets on the leaves and plants, examining the patches of white reindeer moss amidst the green, and looking at patterns in the old man’s beard lichen draped over the trees. Full of little surprises, the trail was truly beautiful. After finishing the trail we walked the length of the beach, up the banks of the Little Pic River, and finally returned to the campground.
As forecasted, the sun came out the morning of our departure, which revealed an entirely different and expanded coastline, making for a fantastic morning walk.